Friday, February 25, 2011

Little Red Riding Hood Meets the Dutch Girl

Do you ever wish you knew the history of the treasures you find? The people who chose them originally...who used them and maybe loved them? In an earlier post I wrote about my love of old plates and the "need" to bring them home and "rescue" them from an unknown becoming a dog dish or even eternity in the city dump. (Now, you know lots of people use little transferware bowls for their pets, especially cats..that's why we always use a little clorox in our dish water before we serve our family on our new vintage ware.)
Recently, I came across a sweet Dutch Girl cookie jar. She sat among a collection of other Dutch ceramic children, obviously once loved by someone. I could not bring all the children home, so just adopted the one and introduced her to Little Red Riding Hood, who lives in my kitchen.
Now Red Riding Hood does have a history that I know all about. My mother bought her for her mother during WWII. They lived in Miami, Florida and my mom was a war bride, waiting for my dad to return from the Navy. Yesterday, I asked my ninety year old mom to tell me the story again. She said she bought the cookie jar and carried it home on the bus, along with some red checked curtains. She and her sister were "re-doing" Mom's kitchen. (Imagine that, DIY make-overs were popular in the 40's!) She also told me that the cookie jar never held cookies. Her mother did not bake cookies. My mother was one of seven children and there never would have been enough cookies to go around. Her mother only made huge cobblers and sheet cakes that would feed the five boys and two girls.

My mom inherited the jar and it never held cookies in our house either...she just sat quietly in the corner of the kitchen and added a little cheer to the many homes that I grew up in. Now she sits on the countertop at my house, and I found out she is way too valuable to risk putting cookies in!

So Red Riding Hood has a legacy that will hopefully be cherished by my children and grandchildren. And she won't end up being sold in a yard sale, like her friend the Dutch Girl. Now I've gotten all sentimental about the Dutch am I ever going to put her in Booth 58?

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